The good news: you don't even have to leave home to get in shape! The gym is a great place to hang out for a top-notch workout, but it's not the only place that can help you burn off calories. Getting fit can easily be done at home.
Body-weight exercises are excellent for functional fitness, rather than just strength training. The strength you'll build doing push-ups, chin-ups, crunches, leg lifts and jump-squats will make all of your activities of daily life much easier. There are hundreds of body-weight exercises you can do--all without the need for weights.
Buy Simple Equipment
No matter how many body-weight exercises you do, it's always good to have a few weights handy. You'll be able to get a more concentrated workout for muscles like your biceps, triceps and shoulders.
What kind of gear do you need? A few kettlebells can be handy, or else use a pair of dumbbells with up to 50 pounds per dumbbell. This will be more than enough for the majority of the exercises you do, and you won't need much more than these two items to get started.
Don't forget a Yoga mat (cushioning as you work out on the floor), a stability ball (it helps work your core) and resistance bands (replacing free weights). You'll need a water bottle, a heart rate monitor (for newbies) and a stopwatch.
Set Up a Space
You need a space that's well ventilated (on the hot days) as well as warm (on the cold days). You should try to clear an area about three paces wide and long, as that should be more than enough for the exercises you're doing.
Of course, a larger space is always better. The more space you have, the wider range of exercises you can easily do. Make sure the space is clean and kept neat, and have all of your equipment handy for your home workouts.
When you are doing exercises with just your body weight, you may find that they are very difficult initially. Exercises like pull-ups can be incredibly hard for newbies, so working out with a friend can be a good way to ensure that you get the help you need for these tough exercises. It will also help to keep you motivated to keep pushing yourself.
Make it Fun
The worst thing to do is follow a workout program you dislike. It's all but guaranteed to make you quit in a short amount of time.
It's important that you find a workout that's fun for you, and that you can do rain or shine at least five days a week. Whether it's workout videos, a body-weight workout, an online training program, or just a simple routine that you created for yourself, make it one that you can do every day no matter what.
10 Fitness Tips for Busy Professionals
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.